Agritourism Ottawa

A Guide to Wineries, Orchards, Gardens, Farm Tours and Other Agricultural Adventures in the Ottawa Region



Domaine Cléroux Maple Orchard – Open House This Weekend

This is just a quick blog entry to let people know that Domaine Cléroux Maple Orchard is having an open house this weekend from 12-4:30 pm. Here is how they describe their property on their website:

Come discover our vast 200 acres Domain, with our apple orchard, sugar bush, sugar shack, bed & breakfast and kiosk.  The ceilings dressed with 120 year old tin from church benches, floors covered with 300 year old slate originally from a church roof, doors also from a church, the staircase recycled from a presbytery, and the stained glass windows from different churches on display as art. In our kiosk, you will find all our maple and apple products along with other refreshments, for you to enjoy on picnic tables set up for your convenience. For those who want to stay for the weekend, it will be our pleasure to greet you in our Domain Bed & Breakfast. – Domaine Cléroux website

I visited Domaine Cléroux a couple months ago, and it was gorgeous. The store is really something to see with all its recycled church components. The B&B is still under construction, but you can see the staircase leading up to it, including an absolutely beautiful gold Italian chandelier. Continue reading “Domaine Cléroux Maple Orchard – Open House This Weekend”

OCTA Summit: Innovations in Local Food Distribution

For the last three months, my freezer and fridge have been overflowing with local products: apples, tomatoes, beef, bison, maple butter, cranberry juice, goat cheese, Beau’s beer (if you can call that food), and a multitude of other products available from our local producers. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to visit these producers on site, buying directly from the farm. But many of these places are a good drive from my house, so replacing the food as we eat it is not so easy.

The problem of local food distribution was the topic of one of the OCTA Summit presentations. Lauren Baker, Executive Director of Sustain Ontario, was the presenter. In this session, we heard about the “hourglass phenomena”, in which there are lots of buyers at one end of the hourglass, and lots of farmers at the other, but there’s a squeeze in the middle when it comes to distribution. Continue reading “OCTA Summit: Innovations in Local Food Distribution”

OCTA Summit: Pitching to the Media

One of the most interesting sessions at the OCTA Summit was the media panel entitled “Tastes that Tempt the Media”. This session focused on how to pitch culinary tourism stories to the media. I found this session particularly interesting because of my experience in working with the media in technology. There’s nothing like immersing yourself in a totally new industry to see things from a fresh perspective.

There were three panel members from the culinary journalism field: Adam Sachs from New York City, Steve Dolinsky from Chicago, and Randall Shirley from Vancouver. I thought they were all great, but my favourite was Randall Shirley. His stories of growing up on an Idaho potato farm and not being allowed to eat rice because it was “the competition” were hilarious. Continue reading “OCTA Summit: Pitching to the Media”

OCTA Summit: Chef Michael Smith

Well it took me a little longer than I thought to blog about the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance Summit. In the meantime, some great articles have come out describing Chef Michael Smith’s keynote presentation:

Foodservice & Hospitality Magazine
Good Food Revolution
This Little Piggy

This was the first time I had heard Chef Michael Smith speak. In fact, I’ve never seen any of his TV shows, but if I ever get cable or satellite, I will be sure to tune in! He is such an engaging speaker, and so well spoken. His speech was a great start to the conference.

Here are some key quotes from Michael Smith that really stood out for me: Continue reading “OCTA Summit: Chef Michael Smith”

Ontario Culinary Tourism Summit

Today I attended a really great culinary tourism conference put on by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. This was my first conference outside of the world of high-tech. For those who aren’t familiar with my background, I have spent almost 20 years in the software business, most of it in data security. While I have always enjoyed conferences in my field (especially when I get to meet customers), the conference topics can sometimes be a little dry (cryptographic algorithms anyone?). So you can imagine how amazing it is to attend a conference about two things things that everyone loves: food and travel. Continue reading “Ontario Culinary Tourism Summit”

Herbfest and the Carp Farmers’ Market

Last weekend I visited two places: the Carp Farmers’ Market and the Annual Midsummer Herbfest at the Herb Garden in Almonte. Both events were opportunities to make agritourism contacts for my book. It was a good test of how comfortable I am approaching strangers and asking if they give tours of their agricultural operation! I’m still a little shy about it, but that’s something I’d like to work on from a personal development perspective anyway.

My first stop was the Carp Farmers’ Market on Saturday. The market runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays from May to October. It’s the largest producer-based farmers’ market in Ontario (over 100 vendors) with about half the vendors outside, and the other half in a heritage exhibit hall at the entrance to the grounds. Continue reading “Herbfest and the Carp Farmers’ Market”

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